Race in the Obama-McCain Presidential Race—Being a Racist Is Officially a Luxury

Tales from the campaign trail—why Obama is ahead in Pennsylvania

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Here is a delightful and telling, if politically incorrect, tale from the political number crunchers at fivethirtyeight.com.

They say it's a true story from their on-the-ground surveys.

So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the n***er!"

Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the n***er."

The analysts at fivethirtyeight note that Washington County is a bellwether for Pennsylvania, and that John Kerry eked out a 552-vote victory from more than 96,000 votes cast in 2004.

But the Obama campaign "is on the ground and making inroads due to unusually strong organizing leadership," the website says, and has registered over 4,000 new voters here, part of a push that has given Democrats a 1.2 million edge in registered voters in the state.

The fivethirtyeight verdict: "In this economy, racism is officially a luxury."